March 6, 2003

Campus Couture

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Stepping into a swimsuit is a daunting prospect for many girls. It’s the one fashion item whose reputation is founded on a reputation of being completely unforgiving. Coverage is minimal, exposure of glaring flaws is maximal. You’re literally almost naked, the most intimate and thus vulnerable state of being, which explains why so many women cease the wearing of suits soon after being initiated into adolescence.

But with spring break soon underway, it looks like you can’t avoid the swimsuit issue any longer. It doesn’t seem right to be running along the gorgeous shores of Cancun in jeans and long sleeves. You’re going to an exotic locale with the intent of getting tan and gorgeous so that attractive strangers will come your way, and cute, preppy, J. Crew shorts and shirts just won’t cut it. You want to tease and tantalize with a flash of flesh here and there, which the skimpy swimsuit is totally programmed to do.

So what is the paranoid, self-conscious girl supposed to do? The bright, lively colors characterizing this season’s swimsuit styles certainly are eye-catching and enticing. Who wouldn’t want to be the center of attention in all the spring fever madness prancing around as a delicious, candy-colored pop tart? However, you’re still consumed with the horror of perhaps ending up more like a bursting, overripened fruit rather than the hoped-for, lip-smacking lollipop, so this deters you from making those swimwear purchases. What you should know is that, just like other clothing items, swimsuits come in all different styles and cuts, and certain combinations will help cover up your trouble spots and enhance, rather than hinder, the quality of your nearly bare-naked appearance. With that reassuring tip in mind, here’s a guide to knowing how to work the swimsuit system in your favor so that you’ll emerge as a perfect 10 when it comes time to hit the beach.

Boy Skirt/Short Two Pieces

Boy short bikini bottoms provide coverage of thighs and tummy with its low-cut leg and high waistline. Calvin Klein’s $152 spunky retro-print bikini and tie skirt should do the trick, but Old Navy’s $25 leaf print bikini top and bottom is just as adorable, transforming you into a sassy surfer chick at a fraction of the cost.

Illusion Creating Patterns

Lighter shades and curvilinear patterns can create the illusion of curves, molding your figure into a more pleasingly voluptuous form. Anne Klein’s $90 paisley keyhold bikini will get the job done, but Target’s punky paisley bikini separates will do it even better at a nice price of $14.99.

Shoulder Flattering Halters

Halter tops pull off the enormous feat of minimizing broad shoulders as well as minimizing narrow ones. Try the Vix $96 striped halter bikini, but A&E Outfitters’ $49 sunset halter top & bikini brief won’t shirk on its duties to turn you into a yummy, candy-striped sugarcane.

Archived article by Sherry Jun